The Ninth Doctor is making his triumphant return. Big Finish Productions announced yesterday that actor Christopher Eccleston, who originated the role of the Ninth Doctor in the 2005 relaunch of Doctor Who, is returning to the franchise for a four-volume series of audio dramas.
Details are sparse regarding the rest of the cast or the stories at this point, but what’s known is that Big Finish, which has been producing Doctor Who audio plays since the late ’90s, will release four boxed sets entitled Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Adventures, featuring Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor in the lead role. Each set will contain three complete adventures, as well as bonus material, and fans will be able to purchase the sets digitally, on CD, or on limited-edition vinyl (only 1,000 of each set will be produced in that format).
Eccleston portrayed The Doctor opposite Billie Piper‘s Rose Tyler for one season of Doctor Who, and quickly became a fan-favorite. Discomfort with the environment of the series and reported issues he’d had with showrunner and executive producer Russell T. Davies ultimately led to Eccleston’s quick departure from the series. His return to the role was rumored for “The Day of the Doctor,” the Who 50th anniversary special from 2013, but after Eccleston opted not to return a new incarnation, The War Doctor, was created and played by John Hurt.
Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio dramas have added much to the mythology of Doctor Who, particularly in regards to another Doctor who only appeared briefly on-screen: The Eighth Doctor, portrayed by Paul McGann, who made one full appearance in a 1996 TV movie, and again appeared in 2013 in a prequel short for “The Day of the Doctor”. McGann has starred as his incarnation of The Doctor in a multiple Big Finish series, including The Eight Doctor Adventures and The Eighth Doctor: The Time War, since 2007.
I loved Eccleston’s portrayal of The Doctor, so the news of his return to the role is really, well, fantastic. The four individual volumes for Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Adventures are available for preorder now, with scheduled release beginning in Spring 2021.